Meghan Markle is cold-calling Republican Senators because she’s an expert on rich, do-nothing white people

·3-min read
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Because it’s been two weeks since she was last harangued by the tabloids, Meghan Markle is once again making headlines. This time she’s creating buzz by cold-calling Republican Senators to lobby them on President Biden’s $3.5 trillion domestic spending bill.

This makes perfect sense: Who better than someone who represents the British royal family — an archaic institution rooted in the Middle Ages — to take on America’s own archaic, Middle Ages-style attitudes toward medicine and paid parental leave? Congress is a dysfunctional collection of do-nothing rich old white people who are out of touch with the needs of the people they supposedly represent. And if there’s anyone who knows about getting do-nothing rich old white people to pay attention, it’s Meghan Markle.

Apparently Meghan introduced herself as “the Duchess of Sussex” — as she is entitled to do — on her calls to Senator Susan Collins of Maine and Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia. According to Politico reporter Marianne LeVine, a clearly perturbed Collins said, “Much to my surprise, she called me on my private line and she introduced herself as the Duchess of Sussex, which is kind of ironic.” Other Republicans have suggested that Meghan’s calls have made her seem out-of-touch and unrelatable — after all, there’s nothing less relatable to the GOP than someone expending energy fighting for something that doesn’t personally benefit them.

Interestingly, Meghan chose to lobby Senators without asking her husband Prince Harry for support. But I suppose it’s a good thing that the Duke of Sussex didn’t join in the lobbying effort, because the only Duke the GOP seems to pay attention to these days is David. Perhaps this is a missed opportunity, though, because nobody knows what it’s like to be on leave better than a prince whose entire life can be summarized in five words: Taxpayer-funded paid time off.

I have a couple small issues with Meghan’s methods, though. I know she was away in the UK for a while and may have forgotten how to lobby Congress effectively because of that, but cold-calling Senators is a rookie error. There are only three proven ways to get Senators’ attention: bribe them (known as “campaign contributions” in polite society); help them make stock trades from their insider information; or appear on Newsmax claiming that the Covid vaccine contains a satanic tracker called Luciferase.

Sadly, Meghan’s efforts may be in vain, as America looks set to remain one of only seven countries (alongside Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea, the Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Suriname and Tonga) that doesn’t offer paid family leave for its citizens. Even in North Korea, possibly the most oppressive nation on earth, new moms get up to 11 weeks off. Perhaps Republicans responded to her efforts by reminding her that parents don’t need to invest time raising kids these days because they’re going to get shot and killed in school in a few years anyway — which has been the unofficial position of the Republican Party ever since it got so cozily into bed with the NRA.

With such callous disregard for the welfare of working people, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that the governing class view the governed with contempt. But perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised. After all, America is a country where people have to choosebetween food and medicine and where the averageAmerican dies in debt. Those both appear under the dictionary definition for “freedom”, right?

And so America continues, a powerful modern economy blended with a backward society that is onceagain dependent on Black women to move it into the modern age. Meghan, at least you’re trying — but I’m sorry to say that, royal title or no, your efforts are probably in vain.

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